Handbook of Policies and Procedures (IACUC/HOPP)
Section 5: Training in the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
- 5.0 Training
- 5.1 Who Should Receive Training?
- 5.2 Training Requirements for University Laboratory Animal Users
- 5.3 Education and Training for IACUC Members
All staff working with laboratory animals must be appropriately qualified to do so in order to ensure the humane treatment of animals. Training is a classic performance standard where the emphasis is on the outcome (i.e., all personnel are qualified to do their jobs). Although the PHS Policy and Animal Welfare Regulations (AWRs) do not specify a particular program or the frequency with which a program should be offered, the requirement for competence is mandatory.
The AWRs, in Sec. 2.32 (a) and (b), specify:
It shall be the responsibility of the research facility to ensure that all scientists, research technicians, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, and use are qualified to perform their duties. This responsibility shall be fulfilled in part through the provision of training and instruction to those personnel. Training and instruction shall be made available, and the qualifications of personnel reviewed, with sufficient frequency to fulfill the research facility's responsibilities….
The PHS Policy, Section IV.C.1.f. places responsibility specifically with the IACUC to ensure that personnel conducting procedures on research animals are appropriately qualified and trained in those procedures.
Personnel’s training in the care and use of research animals is also an important aspect of the alternatives concept (replacement, reduction and refinement). Training in the recognition and alleviation of animal pain, distress, and abnormalities addresses refinement. Similarly, training in the conduct of animal procedures prepares staff to work without causing unnecessary harm to the animal. Technical proficiency also invokes reduction by avoiding wasted animal lives through failed procedures.
All personnel should receive training if they interact directly with or work in the vicinity of animals. Training made available for each type of staff should be specific to the animal species involved and to the kind of procedures to be performed or animal-related interactions.
For training purposes, staff can be grouped as:
- Researchers (including Principal Investigators),
- Animal care technicians, and
- Other (e.g., maintenance or support staff).
In some instances, staff may not be clearly divisible into these groups if job responsibilities are more diversified than this classification suggests. For example, facility staff such as animal health technicians may have job functions that include both animal care and research procedures.
Training should also be made available to temporary staff, such as students and visiting scientists. PI’s are responsible for identifying these people and assuring that appropriate training is accomplished.
The IACUC requires all personnel that conduct any research and/or teaching that involves handling, manipulating, or performing procedures on live vertebrate animals, whether in the laboratory or in the field to complete this training. Protocols will not be reviewed until all personnel listed on a protocol are current with their training.
The IACUC-required training is a three-fold process. The actions needed are not complicated and can be completed at the Investigator’s own schedule. They involve:
- Completing a brief online training tutorial for each of the species with which the Investigator will be working.
- Completing a brief online training tutorial (3198: Orientation), specific to Investigators at The University of Texas at Austin
- Enrolling in the Occupational Health Program-Laboratory Animal and Biomedical Services (OHP-LABS).
Refresher training for both Principal Investigator (PI) and Animal Users is required every three years.
This online training program was developed by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to provide required information on the humane care and use of lab animals as mandated by federal regulations. The AALAS Learning Library (ALL) provides training that is essential for technicians, veterinarians, managers, IACUC members, and investigators working with animals in a research or education setting. Researchers submitting IACUC documents (e.g., new proposals, protocol amendments, annual renewals, personnel modifications, etc.) are required to complete this training at least once every three years.
All researchers must complete the basic “3198: Orientation” (formerly the ARC Orientation Class). This module provides an orientation of the policies and procedures for animal research at The University of Texas at Austin. The topics covered include:
- Contact information and organizational structure of the ARC and other relevant University departments
- University guidelines for humane animal care and use
- IACUC functions and procedures
- Animal-related risks
- Reporting procedure for animal care and use concerns
In addition to the basic “3198: Orientation,” species-specific training is required if available for the species in use. If no species-specific module is available, then personnel must complete the “3199: Other Species Training Module (General Care and Use).”
To access these modules, the use of an EID and password to log into the system is required at the following link: https://spike.orsc.utexas.edu/ep2/.
- Sign in using a UTEID and Password
- Go to the Eprotocol Menu located in the upper left hand corner. Hover over “Investigator” and click “AALAS Learning Library”
- Go to “Libraries” and click “Animal Care and Use Courses”
- Toward the bottom of the page, the required courses are listed under “UT-Austin IACUC Member Training.” Select the appropriate module and proceed by clicking the word “course” at the bottom.
- To receive credit, both the course and exam must be completed.
5.2.2 Enrollment in the Occupational Health Program-Laboratory Animal and Biomedical Services (OHP-LABS)
To enroll: http://www.utexas.edu/hr/current/services/ohp.html
See also Section 6: Occupational Health Program
Effective January 10, 2011, all personnel working with macaque monkeys must complete the primate safety training given by the ARC Director prior to being listed as approved personnel on a protocol. The course will be designated in TXCLass as AN0055 entitled “Working Safely with Macaques in Research (class)”.
New IACUC member orientation consists of the following: a description of the IACUC and responsibilities; U.S. Government Principles; criteria for membership; authority of the IACUC; protocol review process; monitoring of approved protocols, periodic review; protocol modifications; records; semiannual reviews; roles and responsibilities; and federal regulations. Documentation of training is maintained through the use of IACUC member files.
The objectives of providing this information are the following:
- To introduce members to the role of the IACUC and its evolution;
- To provide the basic information necessary for IACUC members to discharge their responsibilities; and
- To provide a forum for response to, and discussion of, members' concerns and questions.
Effective September 1, 2009, all new IACUC members must complete five (5) modules in the AALAS Learning Library within sixty (60) days of joining the Committee:
- 151: Essential for IACUC Members
- 596: Animal Welfare Act Regulations
- 2452: Public Health Service Policy on Humane Cane and Use of Laboratory Animals
- 3507: 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2011)
- 3823: AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals 2013 Edition
Continuing education for IACUC members usually occurs at each IACUC meeting. The objectives of providing ongoing training for IACUC members is to increase their knowledge, understanding, and awareness of current laws and regulations, new directives, best practice guidelines and institutional policies. It also provides a regular forum for the IACUC to discuss concerns or questions brought forth by the faculty, staff or members of the community. Information provided for these sessions will include questions and concerns brought to the attention of the IACUC, official directives, relevant publications, conference announcements, seminar proceedings, animal facility staff and/or veterinarian’s observations/recommendations, issues involving facility inspections and program evaluations, and compliance issues.
Effective September 1, 2009, all IACUC members must complete one (1) module in the AAALAS Learning Library at least once every three (3) years:
- 151: Essential for IACUC Members